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A key element of developing a decommissioning, demolition and land remediation strategy for an asset is characterisation of the potential hazards and contaminants throughout the structures and processes.

A sampling and characterisation plan addresses risks and collects maximum information (e.g. Type 3 asbestos survey) about the facility. Chemical, biological and radiological analysis adds to the data inventory. A complete physical survey underpins the available data.

It is usual for characterisation work to be part of a larger project scope and will typically address:

  • Site familiarisation
  • Understanding previous processes and systems employed at the site within each area
  • Understanding the type and nature of manufactured materials, the products and chemicals used and the wastes produced
  • Establishing an understanding of the current physical condition of the various process pipelines, services and equipment
  • Establishing the nature and extent of any residual contamination within these items by means of a targeted sampling and inspection strategy
  • Developing a hazard risk assessment matrix

Characterisation commences with the design of the approach. This might include:

  • Desktop study and development of the History File
  • Confirmation of likely contaminants (chemotoxic, biological, radiological)
  • Confirmation of likely isotopes and markers
  • Prior Radiological Risk Assessment
  • Definition of action levels

Implementation of the characterisation process will address:

  • Target hotspots
  • General assurance
  • Designated areas (prior RRA)
  • Direct probe and smear to probe
  • Coupons and samples

The most likely areas requiring investigation will be ducts, filters, vessels, service runs, pipes, etc. The investigation will take the form of visual inspections and sampling work.

Analysis can be undertaken local in situ or at accredited labs (UKAS etc.).

KDC can offer a comprehensive characterisation service. Contact KDC here if you have a specific query.

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